December 20, 2013
Weather is a major part of our lives here on Lost Cat Farm. It interrupts our routines not unlike problems that arise in the community and other complications of life. All of these obstacles are gifts that wake us from our calm and strengthen our relationship to the unpredictable nature of this region and the role we play.
I am now looking at a foot of slowly melting snow, water dripping from the roof and an occasional goat peering out from their barn shelter in conflicted boredom. Three of these goats are six months old and have never seen snow.
The snow changed everything in terms of the animals’ willingness to break through to the last remaining edible grass. This worried me, because it means we will have to feed them more hay. Our hayed pastures are like most of the dairy pastures around here, that haven’t been grazed by animals in 30 years. As a result, they are over-grown with thickets of honeysuckle, black raspberry and multi-flora rose. I know that our goats love all of these plants when they are in leaf. Will they be willing to forage these thickets this winter? Can we feed them while they help us manage our overgrown pastures?
Yesterday, our goats finally got bored enough to trudge through a foot of snow to munch the branches of multi-flora rose. They especially liked the hips at the top. We will keep you posted as to how good a job they do in their eating.
Wilton & Joan